SEATRU presently conducts most of its conservation research on a nesting population of green and hawksbill turtles on Chagar Hutang, Redang Island which is located 45 km off Terengganu in the South China Sea. Chagar Hutang beach is about 300 m long, with nesting densities of 5-15 per night occuring during the peak months of June and July. The major conservation project undertaken is in-situ egg incubation. The eggs are left untouched in their natural nests and allowed to incubate to full-term. This project was initiated in 1993 and is maintained on a longterm basis.
Conservation Project at Chagar Hutang, Pulau Redang:
- Nesting turtles:
We are doing long term conservation research in Chagar Hutang. We collected the turtles nesting data every year. The graph below showed the green and hawksill turtles nest from 1993 until 2009 at Chagar Hutang.
A total of 91 green and 4 hawksbill individual turtles nested in Chagar Hutang, out of which 59 were newly – tagged green turtles and 4 newly – tagged hawksbill turtles. The remaining 32 were remigrant turtles that had been tagged and nested in previous years.
- In-situ eggs incubation
A total of 405 nests (385 green turtle nests and 20 hawksbill turtle nests) were deposited in Chagar Hutang beach in 2009. When we closed the camp at the end of October, there were 18 nests left to complete their incubation on the beach. The analyses of these nests were performed by our workers from Redang Village.
From the 367 green turtle nests that were analyzed, the average hatching success was 71.8% with average number of eggd per nest were 87. Based on these values, we calculated that a total of 31742 green turtle egs were deposited in Chagar Hutang for the 2009 season while a total of 21894 live hatchings were produced with 67.4% of hatching emergence success.
The 4 hawksbills monitored in 2009 produced a total of 20 nests (2029 eggs). From the 20 hawksbill nests that were analyzed, the average number of eggs per nest was 106 while average hatching success was 64.2%. Hence, a total of 1329 hawksbill live hatchings were produced for the season with 61.5% of emergence success.
Every turtle nesting in Chagar Hutang will be checked for identification. If the individual turtle already bore a tag, the number and address of the tag will be recorded. If the turtle has not been tagged, it will be tagged by using the SEATRU tag. Following graph showed that the number of turtles tagged from 1993 until 2009.